Thursday, June 25, 2009

Galveston, day 2

What is wrong with my internal clock that makes me get up around 5 or 6 even when I am on "vacation"? That is why it is no problem posting while in Texas. I am up for at least 2 hours before anyone else and there is no laundry to do or dishes to wash or vacuuming....well I guess if I offered, I could do that here at the hotel. I am waiting for the sun to come up so I can take a drive and see some more of this island. They are really just starting to come back from hurricane Ike. I guess the whole island was covered in 4 feet of water. The people who had the brilliant idea of building massive hotels on piers over the ocean are probably rethinking their brillance.

We went to Moody Gardens yesterday which was like a museum with a rainforest, aquarium, dinosaur and bone area and beach. It was pretty cool and had lots of beautiful vegetation. I have pictures, but I am having trouble loading the internet on my computer, so am using the germy hotel computer.

B on the couch with "daddy"

Holy tree frogs, Batman!
The best part was taking B, Br, and J into a special penguin adventure. We got to sit in a room with a penguin and pet it! I used to teach about penguins way back when when I was an actual teacher, so it was really cool to be up close with one (named Babe). Babe is a King Penguin. As a side note, there was an OBNOXIOUS grandmother in this room with her 2 year old granddaughter. She had a really weird accent so I have no idea where she came from, maybe Mars, but she spoke to the 2 year old the whole time. "Oh Maddy, mommy wants a picture of you holding the penguin. What Maddy can't hold the penguin? Oh Maddy, mommy is going to be so disappointed that you couldn't hold the penguin. Can I get a picture of her with the penguin? I can't get up from my spot? Oh Maddy, I only got a picture of your hand on the penguin. Maybe that nice lady over there will take your picture and email me a copy of you with the penguin?"
If I were to shoot anything, it would have been her. I think the girl in charge was fed up with her too. Evidently penguins can bite and are not the nice furry things you saw in Happy Feet.
"Babe" the penguin

Aren't their feet cute?
The room was about 40 degrees and Babe flapped her wings to keep cool while the kids were under fleece blankets!
The rest of the team arrived after being delayed in the airport for 2 hours, 45 min on the runway, and hour and 1/2 bus ride. The only thing that was missing was the train. Coach Joe had practice for 1 1/2 hours. We saw the best team in the country practice. They have to be the best team in the country because they have a pretty bad name... the Bouncing Bulldogs. Have you ever seen a bulldog bounce? Do they bounce if they are thrown out a second story window? Anyway, they were amazing and after I picked my jaw up from the floor, I went to Target with S-in-law, Kathryn, and friend, Kate. Target is amazingly similar all across the country. It was set up exactly like every other T I have been in. I just find that a little weird and a little corporate.

Try picking up dinner for 18 at the Chili's take out. I have to give Chili's credit...they got the order right!

Today we start the speed competion at 5pm. This will go until about 10 pm. Then we have to be back tomorrow for more speed and freestyle at 7 am. I am sorry, but do the organizers of this shindig know that they are dealing with a lot of 7-10 year olds, not just teenagers? B and her group of double dutch speed are suppose to be on around 8:30 tonight. Coach Joe told us to let the kids "sleep in" this morning. They are kids who know that there is an awesome pool with in reach and you want them to sleep in? Obviously I didn't get the memo on the sleep in thing. I got up thinking there was too much to blog about and too much of the island I haven't seen and photographed yet. Oy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Galveston, Day 1

Do you ever wonder where other people are going at 6 am in the morning at an airport on a Tuesday? Maybe  not , but I have been today. We are on our way to Galveston Texas for the Jump Rope Nationals. Teams from all over the country are coming to compete. I have no idea what I am getting myself in to.

I do know that 3:37 came awfully early this morning. I even woke up 5 minutes before the alarm. Hmm, something to be proud of, huh? Brooke came bouncing down the stairs 10 minutes after me excited and nervous. She was very concerned we were going to miss our flight. It was raining when we left (no surprise, I think we are having the wetest/coldest spring ever! I wore my winter jacket yesterday and my parents had a fire in their fireplace on Father's Day.) We picked up my sister in law, Kathryn and her son, and our friend Kate and her son. When we arrived at the airport an hour before our 7:00 flight (yes, the airport is 1 1/2 hours away), we were greeted with a 20 minute security line. This line caused me to wonder where the hell everyone was going!! You can tell the business men and women, but what about the others? At least the kids wore our information on their jackets. "Hey, those kids must be on a jump rope team because they are all wearing the same jacket." Maybe more people should wear more obvious signs, because I am nosy and I WANT TO KNOW. 

Now we are on the plane and I am jamming to the songs on my laptop and writing. I get antsy on a plane. Actually I get antsy sitting anywhere for a long period of time. Ok, when I have to sit for more than 20 minutes. We stopped in Philly and had a 20 minute time lapse where the kids got to go into the cockpit. The captain was very cool and answered all of their 15 million questions. Pictures should be on here if I actually remembered all the cords I need for that miracle. 

(I did remember everything! So here they are...)

When we took off from Philly both J and Br held B's hand. She doesn't like taking off much. It was very cute. We are headed to Galveston where it will be close to twice as hot as it has been on Cape Cod. Oy. What's that like? Today will probably be one of those days where you can bitch about how cold you are in the morning and how hot your are in the afternoon. As long as the pool is warm and the drinks are cold, I think we will be all set. 

Yup, here is the pool and the swim up pool bar. Can't hate this!!

I wrote that on the plane yesterday. Today I sit in the hall at the wee hours of the morning playing on the computer while everyone sleeps and snores. The snoring would be my sister in law (I love her to death, don't tell her I am outing her about the snoring thing). We are going to Moody Garden's this morning before the rest of the team gets here and we have to get to work jumping. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WTF Wednesday

Maybe I will start a new tradition and do WTF Wednesdays.

Today's subject: Condoms.

I had about 12 Vilanova graduates stay at my rental house this past weekend. (Side note: if you are thinking of sending your kids there, make sure they can drink because there were 5, 30 packs e-m-p-t-y in my garage.) Anyway, they were down to celebrate a friend's nuptuals.

You know those games where there are 2 circles stuck together and you can ask a question and turn the circle and there will be a little window opening on the answer? (I am hoping you answer yes here, because I don't know how else to explain them). Well someone brought about 50 of those to my rental house and there were about 25 left over for me to peruse. They had to do with why it is important to use a condom when having sex and on the other side many other ideas for you to do with your "friend" other than having sex. Nothing says intmacy when you are a teen like cooking dinner together or reading a poem you just wrote. Of course I saved them and will be indescrimenantly handing them out on the last day of school (and at Blogher if I have any left).

About 3 hours later, I am in the grocery store buying a watermelon for the 3/4th grade softball BBQ when I look up and realize that my checker-outer boy's name is none other than Trojan.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

I must have had a feeling of parental softness yesterday because I took both the girls to the Verizon store. K's plan was up in a month, B was going to get a phone in a month anyway, B's BFF just got her ears pierced and B was feeling like a wimp because she didn't want to yet, B and I are leaving K high and dry while we go to Texas for a week, they had just sat through my softball game in the rain..... Anyway, I had that 'how can I make it up to you?' feeling. Yeah, so we went to Verizon.

We had to wait for 1/2 hour because the store was packed! It wasn't like they were giving phones away...or were they? When our nice salesman came over to us, I said, "Please treat me as an idiot. I have no idea what I am talking about, I just know I have an upgrade and need a new phone, but already have an extra number for it."

I think I saw the guy grinning wildly and summoning the sucker truck from the back of the store. He actually asked the girls what they were looking for in a phone. They knew what they wanted and actually had an Academy Award speech prepared for him. He gave them 2 options and they chose the blahblahblah, complete with touch screen and flip up keyboard. Yeah, the thing is nicer (ok, way nicer) than my phone and in a different hemisphere than their father's phone. 

They are dancing around, high fiving the "cool" Verizon dude while I am signing my name 5, 10, a million times on the magic screen. I could have excused the guy from probation for all I knew what I was signing. In the end he said, "That will be $100." I was thinking, "Hey, that's reasonable. I just made my new plan with unlimited texting and kind of added a line. OK." Then the very sweet man, who I invited to Thanksgiving dinner, said, "Oh and send this in and you will get $70 back."

So explain to me how I got 2 new phones (retailing at $200 each) for $30?! Yeah, I don't know either. Maybe it pays to call yourself an idiot right when you walk in the store. I know I can't wait for my upgrade in September!!!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Proud Mommy

One warm fuzzy feeling you get when you are a mom is when your kids make you proud. It's even better when a roomful of kids make you proud. Yesterday was one of those days.

The jump rope team that B is on, had their "end" of the year banquet. There were about 20 kids between the ages of 7 and 10 (with one 13 yr old) gathered in the art room eating pizza, chips and cookies listening to their coach. Their coach had something nice to say about each and every one of them. They each got a certificate celebrating each child's personal skill he/she brought to the team.

The absolute best thing was watching the kids and how they reacted to each other and to each award. There were lots of "good job", "way to go", "that's awesome" and "that's so you!" It was so nice to see a team of kids being so there for each other. They are not even a team that technically plays like a team (think soccer, baseball, etc). They compete against clocks (for speed) and have judges judge them in freestyle. Often times they are competing against one another as well as other "teams". Yet, they are a team because they support one another. 

The last award was a true all around sportsman award. It was voted on by the kids. The coach read some of the comments that the kids had written about the kids that didn't win. A first grade brother of a fourth grade girl wrote, "I vote for my sister because I love her." Then he had written an alternate winner too. "I also vote for B because she has nice hair." How adorable is that? Of course, B got right into it and took her hair out of the pony tail it was in so Dan could get a better look. The winner of the trophy was actually my nephew. The coach read what B had written about him. She said that he was inspirational, a great jumper, always helpful showing the kids new tricks and a great friend. I am not sure who I was more proud of at that moment. J for winning, or B for what she had written. 

8 of these kids (and their moms) are heading to Galveston, Texas for the USA Jump Rope Nationals in a week and 1/2. I couldn't be more proud to travel with this group of kids!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Say What?

Things you hear when you are in the car for 5 hours (driving to a jump rope competition in New Hampshire) from your 10 year old daughter and 9 year old nephew....

*How do you stop a kid from breast feeding?

*I think you could move better jump roping with tighty whities, not boxers.

After having ice-cream:
*A scoop will make you poop.


*Have you ever put Purel in your belly button?

Yeah, never a dull moment.....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Tenant

Have you ever stepped out of your shoes and wondered how someone else might view you?

Matt has decided to get a boy from some foreign country who is working in town for the summer to rent our little apartment over our garage. He speaks some English, I am just not sure how much, since I haven't really had a conversation with him.

I have seen myself through his eyes this week and have laughed wondering what he thinks about American families.

First, he must wonder exactly how many cars we have. My car has been in the shop 2 different times in the last week (that's a whole other post). One day I borrowed my mom's car, one day I had my dad's car. Matt has had the large fish truck in the driveway and his regular truck and then sometimes he parks at the barn (not visible from our driveway). My mom has popped in and also watched the girls. My mother in law has stopped in and friends have dropped off kids and picked up kids a few times.

He has a bike and rides it everywhere. Yesterday, as I was coming down the driveway, he was walking up it and it was starting to rain. I was thinking I should offer him a ride, when I asked him where he was going. He was going to get the large container of salt that had fallen out of a grocery bag, that I had just driven over. Yup, real nice, sweet impression. Then he asked me where V had been lately. V is the woman that is in charge of the barn/horses and helped Matt get the "tenant". She was who he met first with Matt. So now I am wondering if he thinks Matt, V and I live in the house with the girls or Matt and V are a couple and I am the help? V actually lives 2 houses away on the other side of the "farm".

The poor boy. I can only imagine the stories he is frantically emailing home to his friends and family!